The Medallion

A Film Review By The Mike

Rating:PG-13 for kung-fu fighting and other stuff
Starring: Jackie Chan, Claire Forlani, Lee Evans
Directed By: Gordon Chan

Final Grade:

You may remember when I started writing reviews for this site, and was introduced to you all with my review of the Jackie Chan flick, The Tuxedo. In my youth and inexperience, I decided I would have a little fun and give that film a higher grade than it deserved just for fun, while still accurately speaking of its mediocrity. In doing so I established my cardinal rule of film reviewing: There are no rules except my rules. That being said I now bring you my review of The Medallion, a film that does not deserve serious consideration and that I’ve decided will be best reviewed as an installment in my “You may remember” series of reviews.

You may remember seeing ads for The Medallion, or you may not. It’s been mere weeks since I first heard of this film, cementing its status as a late summer orphan film. The studio didn’t know what to do with it, so they dropped it on us when nothing big was coming out in hopes for a meager success. I doubt they’ll gain that success, but they probably have their best chance right now. The film itself is a jumbled mess, the type that has five names credited for writing the screenplay. Why one would need five people to write a script that’s nearly similar to every other martial arts film (with extreme similarities to this spring’s Bulletproof Monk) eludes me, and is a question I probably don’t need to know the answer to.

You may remember Jackie Chan being young. If so, you’re much older than I am, and probably older than my parents. The man’s getting a little frightening in appearance with age, yet he still manages to fly through his action scenes like he’s a 12 year old kid. Too bad he can’t write, because the script is so bad that the action scenes don’t even serve as good filler. The man can still fly, and still draw a crowd on occasion if he has a costar, but this is not an example of that.

Speaking of costars, you may remember Claire Forlani as an actress that gained slight hype in the mid 90’s leading up to her role in Meet Joe Black. She’s a bad actress. Really bad. She’s so bad that she was only in one Kevin Smith film. Everyone else that’s been in a Kevin Smith film came back for another, except her. She’s that bad. She looks good as Chan’s partner/love-interest, and she gets to participate in the standard chick-on-chick kung-fu fight (how I love these), but that’s about it.

You may also remember Lee Evans (not to be confused with the wide receiver from the University of Wisconsin who should be a NFL star within five years) as the pitiful Tucker/Norm in the comedy smash There’s Something About Mary. He was funny in that film due to the writing and the fact that he was only used in small doses. Here he’s relied on for all the film’s comic relief, and comes off as both annoying and funny, although he pulls off the former with more consistency than the latter. If his role was smaller it would have worked well, but there’s simply too much silliness.

A martial arts film about resurrecting the dead with superhuman strength should not be taken seriously. You may remember films like this that have succeeded before, but unfortunately, this is not one of those films. If you’re really in the mood for such high-flying hijinks, this film may please you to an extent. But I’m sure that as you leave the theater you may remember something wrong about it more than something good about it. You may remember that great song and start humming “Everybody was Kung-fu fighting – HA!” And you may remember it like I will, by disregarding it completely.

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